Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Excela’s Heart Catheterization Lab Recognized for Excellence

Cardiac catheters are the primary tool of interventional cardiac care. They are used to diagnose heart or blood vessel problems. Injected into an artery in your arm or leg, catheters are then guided to the heart, where they can measure blood pressure, or by injecting a special dye, indicate any blockages. When a blockage is identified, the catheter can also be used to repair the situation.

Those procedures includes: Balloon angioplasty - where a small "balloon" is inserted and inflated to widen a blocked or narrowed blood vessel, Vascular stenting: during an angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube (stent) is placed within a blood vessel to help it remain open, Thrombectomy: A means of removing a blood clot from a blocked artery and Atherectomy, where a catheter with a special drill grinds away hardened, fatty material (plaque) that causes artery blockage.

Excela Health‘s heart catheterization lab becomes the first in Pennsylvania and one of five in the nation to receive a catheterization accreditation from the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE). The guidelines are used to assure that patients are receiving effective, quality health care. The accreditation comes less than a year after an internal review found 192 patients who may have unnecessarily been treated with tiny wire mesh tubes in heart vessels.

Seventy five of those patients filed lawsuits against the hospital. Chief Medical Officer Jerome Granato said they've turned the negative experience into a positive. "The problems that we had could have really damaged an institution, but we used those problems as a way really to rally our organization, to focus on who we were and to have our actions speak louder than our words," said Granato.

Excela voluntarily sought ACE cardiac accreditation which shows their uncompromising commitment to provide quality care to its patients.

Excela has also has taken the opportunity to hire 11 new Cardiologists, bringing the total of Cardiologists on staff to 16 professionals.

“We took this opportunity to really restructure the cath lab from the ground up, with our aims being not just to meet these requirements, but this was an opportunity to exceed these requirements and try to set really a new standard in terms of patient safety," said Dr. Howard P. Grill, medical director of Excela's Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

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